A. Elizabeth Sloan

A new "cocktail party culture," a return to backyard barbecues and birthday parties, and the growing popularity of movie, card, board game, and retro Tupperware party nights—some of the preceding sparked by the economic downturn—are contributing to a surge in home entertaining. For the six months ended October 2008, home entertaining was up 27%, according to Booz & Company.

Only 21% of adults say they never entertain, according to Mintel’s 2008 In-home Entertainment–U.S. report. Young adults…

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